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College Football Random Thoughts From Around the Country: Week 9

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And so it begins...
And so it begins...
Jeff Long-USA TODAY Sports

The College Football Playoff Committee (CFPC) has released their first rankings.

1. Mississippi State (7-0)
2. Florida State (7-0)
3. Auburn (6-1)
4. Ole Miss (7-1)
5. Oregon (7-1)
6. Alabama (7-1)
7. TCU (6-1)
8. Michigan State (7-1)
9. Kansas State (6-1)
10. Notre Dame (6-1)
11. Georgia (6-1)
12. Arizona (6-1)
13. Baylor (6-1)
14. Arizona State (6-1)
15. Nebraska (7-1)
16. Ohio State (6-1)
17. Utah (6-1)
18. Oklahoma (5-2)
19. LSU (7-2)
20. West Virginia (6-2)
21. Clemson (6-2)
22. UCLA (6-2)
23. East Carolina (6-1)
24. Duke (6-1)
25. Louisville (6-2)

Don't look too much into this first rankings. There is still a lot of football left to be played. If Bama wins out, they will be in the playoff. If they lose once more (FLAGGED!) they still have a chance. Don't forget 2007 when no Power 5 team escaped the regular season without a loss and only Ohio State (and a weak-scheduled Kansas) had one loss. LSU reached the BCSNCG at 11-2 and defeated the Buckeyes for the Crystal Football.

When asked about the poll, Nick Saban said "Don't know. Don't care."


The Big Beer Tap! (Photo by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

~~~~~

SEC

Alabama 34 Tennessee 20 - Another strong showing from the Crimson Tide catapults them into the Top 4.

Auburn 42 South Carolina 35 - This was a slugfest with the two teams trading blows. The game was tied 21-21 at the half and 35-35 in the fourth quarter with SC running out of gas at the end. This is more like the team we though SC was coming into the season.

LSU 10 Ole Miss 7 - I hate to say I told you so: there is still plenty of "Bad Bo" out there. Rebs QB Bo Wallace was only 14 of 33 for 176 yards with a bad interception that a third year starting senior should not throw. Ole Miss fans need to accept that this is who Bo is. His game has not changed in his three seasons at the helm of the offense.

Georgia had a bye week.

Playoff Contention:

Mississippi State (7-0): Ark, cupcake, @ BAMA, Vandy, @ OM
Alabama (7-1): bye, @ LSU, MSU, cupcake, Aub
Auburn (6-1): @ OM, TAMU, @ UGA, cupcake, @ BAMA
Georgia (6-1): Fla, @ UK, Aub, cupcake, GaTech, SECCG
Ole Miss (7-1): Aub, cupcake, bye, @ Ark, MSU - on the bubble

Auburn at Ole Miss loser is likely out of the running for a playoff spot.

~~~~~

PAC-12

Arizona State 26 Stanford 10 – The 6-1 Sun Devils are slowly climbing the charts. Let's hope they save their best game for Notre Dame on November 8.

Oregon 59 Cal 41 - The Ducks Marcus Mariota had an okay game against a bad defense (see Heisman Hype below). The lazier observers are not going to sit around until midnight to watch these west coast games. Thus, they depend on the redacted highlights and think "WOW!"

Utah 24 Southern Cal 21 – After 3 seasons of toiling in the PAC-12 basement (18-19, 9-18), the Utes are finally finding some success (6–1, 3–1). We'll see if it lasts with Arizona State and Oregon up next.

Playoff Contention:

Oregon (7-1): Stan, @ Utah, bye, Colo, @ Ore St, P12CG
Arizona State (6-1): Utah, ND, @ Ore St, WSU, @ Az - on the bubble
Arizona (6-1): @ UCLA, Colo, Wash, @ Utah, AZ St - on the bubble
Utah (6-1): @ Az St, Ore, @ Stan, AZ, @ Colo  - on the bubble, could easily lose next 4.

Utah or Arizona State go bye-bye on Saturday.

~~~~~


Don't mess with head coach Mark Dantonio (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

BIG TEN

Michigan State 35 Michigan 11 - Talk about kicking the hornet's nest, what possessed the Wolverines players to run onto the field at Spartan Stadium before the opening kickoff and plant a stake in the turf to taunt #8 Sparty? This act did not sit well with MSU coach Mark Dantonio. He expressed his displeasure by leaving his starters in the game and pounding in one more score with 28 seconds left in the game. Wolverines coach Brady Hoke, of course, claimed ignorance of the whole episode.

Illinois 28 Minnesota 24 – You knew this was coming, right? But who knows? Maybe the Gophers could step up and beat Ohio State on November 15. Yeah, probably not. Well, at least their hockey team is ranked #1.

Ohio State 31 Penn State 24 - The Buckeyes blew a 17-point lead but were able to outlast the Nittany Lions in double OT.

Playoff Contention:

Michigan State (7-1): bye, OhSt, @ Md, Rutgers, @ PSU
Ohio State (6-1): Ill, @ Mich St, @ Minn, Ind, Mich - on the bubble
Nebraska (7-1): Purd, bye, @ Wisc, Minn, @ Iowa  - on the bubble, they could win out but the weak schedule hurts them.

~~~~~


ACC ACTION! CATCH IT! (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

ACC & PSEUDO ACC*

Florida State, Duke, and Notre Dame all had byes.

Playoff Contention:

Florida State (7-0): @ L'ville, UVa, @ Mia, BC, Fla, ACCCG - With a schedule like that, you might as well pencil FSU in.
Duke (6-1): @ Pitt, @ Syra, VaT, UNC, Wake, ACCCG - on the bubble, it's only a matter of time...
*Notre Dame (6-1): @Navy, @ Az State, NW, L'ville, @ SoCal - Sadly, they are still in the running.


Burn baby BURN? (Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

BIG 12-ish

Could West Virginia come back and win the Big 12?

TCU 82 Texas Tech 27 - I don't know who to be more disgusted at: TCU for shamelessly running up the score or for the Red Raiders inability to tackle. This is the worst kind of football.

Kansas State 23 Texas 0 - K-State delivered the Longhorns their first shutout since 2004 and second since 1980. The 2004 loss was Texas' only loss on that season and came at the hands of Oklahoma, who went on to lose to So Cal in the BCS National Championship Game. Texas went 13-0 the next season. Don't expect a repeat.

West Virginia 34 Oklahoma State 10 - The Mountaineers just keep on winning as couches have become an endangered species around Morgantown. WVU has a legitimate shot at the conference title. But more important, the more they win, the better it makes the Crimson Tide look.

Playoff Contention:

Baylor (6-1): Kans, @ Okl, bye, OkSt, TexTech, KState - on the bubble
TCU (6-1): @ WVU, KState, @ KU, bye, @ Tex, IowaSt - on the bubble
Kansas State (6-1): OkSt, @ TCU, bye, @ WVU, KU, @ Baylor - on the bubble

~~~~~

GRAB BAG

Colorado State 45 Wyoming 31 – Are you sick of my shameless cheering for CSU yet?
Clemson 16, Syracuse 6 - Remember these guys? Their two losses have come against UGA and FSU. Since then, they have won 5 straight against the ACC lower tier. And by "lower tier" I mean the lower two-thirds.

~~~~~

BAMA STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

West Virginia 34 Oklahoma State 10 - Can WVU (6-2) keep this thing going? Up next: #10 TCU.
Southern Miss and FAU! are not much help as both are 3-5.
Western Carolina is 6-2 in FCS play.

~~~~~

2014 QB Ratings:

RK PLAYER TEAM QBR
1 Blake Sims ALA 90.8
2 Marcus Mariota ORE 89.4
3 Deshaun Watson CLEM 88.5
4 Nick Marshall AUB 86.8
5 Taysom Hill BYU 85.4
6 Drew Hare NIU 83.5
7 Dak Prescott MS ST 83.2
8 Justin Thomas GaT 82.3
9 Kenny Hill TAMU 81.8
10 Cody Kessler So Cal 81.6

~~~~~

ELIMINATED:

I am tempted to put Ohio State on this list after their ugly ref-aided OT win at Penn State but that would be giving the CFB Playoff Committee too much credit. Their November 8 game with Michigan State should clear up that problem.

MINNESOTA
Arkansas
Boise
Boston College
Byu
Cal
Clemson
Colorado
Florida
Georgia Tech
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Iowa State
Kansas
Kentucky
Lose-Iana State
Louisville
Maryland
Miami (FL)
Michigan
Mizzou
Navy
Nc State
Northwestern
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Oregon State
Penn State
Pitt
Purdue
Rutgers
South Carolina
Southern Cal
Stanford
Syracuse
Tennessee
Texas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
Ucla
Unc
Vanderbilt
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
Washington
Washington State
West Virginia
Wisconsin

~~~~~

#TOOMANYBOWLS

32 teams are bowl eligible for a ludicrous 76 bowl openings including half the SEC (Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, LSU) and Colorado State!

The following teams join Miami (OH) as officially eliminated from bowl eligibility: Georgia State, Idaho, Kent State, UMass, SMU, Troy. Mississippi State officials are already manning the phones to get these teams on future schedules.

~~~~~

Amari_medium

Heisman Hype

  • Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah ran wild racking up a school record 341 all-purpose yards as the 'Huskers blew up Rutgers 42-24. Abdullah had 225 rushing yards on only 19 carries finding the end zone three times.
  • Dak Prescott's was pretty pedestrian against UK: 18 of 33 for 216 yards, one TD, one INT. He added 88 yards on the ground.
  • Marcus Mariota had 326 yards passing and five touchdowns but also threw a pick on 18 of 30 passing. The yardage, TDs, and final score may look good on paper but consider that Cal is dead last in passing defense giving up 383.5 yards per game - 40 yards more per game than the next closest FBS team Toledo. The Bears have also yield an astronomical 31 passing TDs in eight games. Mariota also had a fumble but was able to recover it himself. He played the whole game.
  • UGA running back Todd Gurley DNP.
  • Thank goodness Florida State had a bye and we didn't have to hear about their annoying quarterback.
  • HE'S BAAACK: Bama's Amari Cooper had 9 catches, 224 yards, and two TDs to leapfrog West Viriginia's Kevin White in receiving yards. However, Colorado State's Rashard Higgins has 5 more yards (1137) than Coop (1132). Higgins also has 12 TDs to Cooper's 9.

~~~~~

Extra Points

  • At the end of the Auburn-South Carolina game, the Gamecocks lined up for a Hail Mary from the Auburn 41 yard line. It is not unusual for teams to put an athletic wide receiver with good hands and jumping ability back to play center field in instances like this, which is just what the Tigers coach Gus Mahlzahn did with D'haquille "Duke" Williams. However, there was one problem: Williams wears number 1, the same jersey number as defensive tackle Montavius Adams who was also on the field for the play. The SEC confirmed that a flag should have been thrown that would have given the Gamecocks one additional play from the 36-yard line.
  • Another Saturday, another screw-up by the Big Ten refs. In the first quarter of the Ohio State-Penn State game, Buckeyes safety Vonn Bell was awarded an interception even though the ball clearly hit the turf. The replay official blamed it on a technical glitch but it should have been called on the field. If that wasn't enough, OSU was allowed to kick a field goal a good three seconds after the play clock had expired. For video, take a lookie here.
  • The refs finally got one right when they called a face mask penalty against Ole Miss' Serderius Bryant on LSU running back Leonard Fournette. It would be a hard call to miss since Fournette's face mask was ripped off his helmet save for one screw.
  • Another black eye for Jimbo Fisher: The Tallahassee Police Department (aka Barney Fife and Deputized Gomer Pyle) began an investigation into an alleged domestic assault involving Florida State running back Karlos Williams. The lawyer for the victim of the alleged case has asked for the probe to be dropped. [If the woman is not pressing charges, why does she have a lawyer? Furthermore, how can she afford a lawyer just to say they will not be pressing charges? Hmmm...]. FYI, this likely does not halt the TPD investigation.

~~~~~

Kristi_malzahn_says_shut_up_medium

Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to all those talking heads out there that refused to believe that there was no such a thing as a "Bad Bo".

~~~~~

Sad_face_medium

  • According to Nick Saban, Alabama freshman sensation left tackle Cam Robinson is expected to be out for "at least two weeks" after he suffered a high ankle sprain against Tennessee. He likely misses the LSU game but should return for Mississippi State on November 15. Leon Brown slid over to his spot and in a surprising move, Saban rewarded back-up center freshman Bradley Bozeman with playing time at right guard. Saban mentioned that Grant Hill might also be an option at tackle, keeping Brown at guard.
  • Wide receiver Christion Jones injured his hamstring during pregame warmups at Tennessee and did not play but was available if really needed. Tight end Brian Vogler (sprained knee) and running back T.J. Yeldon (sprained foot) had slight injuries but should be okay to go against LSU on November 8.  They have been limited in practice this week. Junior safety Landon Collins went down in the third quarter but it was only leg cramps.
  • Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott was wearing a walking boot after the Kentucky game but told reporters it was just "precautionary". Hmmm...
  • Ole Miss linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a broken ankle in Saturday's 10-7 loss at LSU. He has had a less then spectacular redshirt junior campaign.

~~~~~

Black_white_tv_salesman_medium

THURSDAY & FRIDAY:

There are games on these days but only one of national significance:

Florida State at Louisville 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET - ESPNESPN- Likely the last chance for the 'Noles to fall until the playoffs.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25:

SEC

Louisiana-Monroe at Texas A&M 11:00 AM CT / 12:00 PM ET - SEC Network- The Aggies hope to get bowl eligible with a win.
Florida vs Georgia 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET - CBS- This game has been played every year in Jacksonville, FL since 1933. For the life of me, I can't figure out why UGA keeps agreeing to play there.
Kentucky at Missouri 3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM ET - SEC Network
Auburn at Ole Miss 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET - ESPNESPN- One of these teams will be eliminated.
Old Dominion at Vanderbilt 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET - ESPNUESPNU- Think you can handle this one 'Dores?
Arkansas at Mississippi State 6:15 PM CT / 7:15 PM ET - ESPN2ESPN2- Take the OVER. Points will be scored.
Tennessee at South Carolina 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET - SEC Network- Whoever loses this game is gonna have a REAL sad.


NATIONAL
(The PAC-12 should clear up some after this weekend.)

Air Force at Army 11:30 AM CT / 12:30 PM ET - CBS - Air Force can clinch their first Commander-in-Chief's Trophy since 2011 and also get their sixth win on the season (bowl eligibility)
TCU at West Virginia 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET. - ABCABC
Colorado State at San Jose State 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET - CBS Sports Network
Stanford at Oregon 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET - FOX - Can the Trees break the Ducks' hearts for a third straight season?
Arizona at UCLA 9:30 PM CT / 10:30 PM ET - ESPNESPN- elimination game?
Utah at Arizona State 10:00 PM CT / 11:00 PM ET - FOX Sports 1 - elimination game.

Nothing else really worth mentioning, except...

bama fan

#ALABAMA

Alabama has a bye as they prepare for a trip to the Bayou to face LSU.

ROLL TIDE!